Federal Direct Loans/Federal PLUS Loans are low-interest loans for students and parents to help pay for the cost of a student’s education after high school. The lender is the U.S. Department of Education rather than a bank or other financial institution. The FAFSA serves as the application for the loan but borrowers must complete a master promissory note and complete entrance and exit counseling. Types of federal loans include:
Direct Subsidized Loans: for students with demonstrated financial need, as determined by federal regulations; no interest is charged while a student is in school at least half-time.
Direct Unsubsidized Loans: students need not demonstrate financial need; interest is charged during all periods, even during the time a student is in school and during grace/deferment periods.
Direct PLUS Loans: unsubsidized loans for the parents of dependent students and for graduate/professional students; interest is charged during all periods.
The College Access Loan (CAL) is a Texas alternative loan for students who are unable to meet the cost of tuition and related college expenses. Students must be:
a Texas resident
enrolled for at least six credit hours
making satisfactory academic progress
demonstrating credit-worthiness or have a credit worthy co-signer
Alternative loan programs are private loans that provide funds for students who are unable to meet the cost of tuition and related college expenses. Students do not have to demonstrate financial need; however, the amount of federal aid for which students are eligible must be deducted from the cost of tuition and related college expenses in determining the loan amount. Students must complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) and be:
enrolled at least half-time (6 hours) in a course of study leading to an associate, bachelor, graduate or higher degree or be enrolled in an approved Alternative Educator Certification Program
meeting all lender application requirements. Students may borrow an amount up to the school’s cost of tuition and related college expenses less other financial aid.